Kitchn Love Letters

The “Buttery” $3 Loaf of Bread I Swear by for Sandwiches

published Mar 10, 2024
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Sandwich with eggs and meat.
Credit: Su-Jit Lin

Buttery, rich, and slightly sweet, there’s just something decadent and satisfying about brioche. It’s an essential burger base, as many fast food restaurants will attest, and its dense dough makes magnificent sugar-crusted liege waffles (which, ICYMI, are taking over grocery shelves). It’s a worthy rival to homemade challah for “egg”-ceptional French toast and a fabulous dinner roll with some good butter (or a breakfast one, for that matter, topped with pearl sugar). 

Perhaps it’s the texture — tender to the bite, but determined to hold its shape, thanks to its heavy kneading. Maybe it’s the visual — a caramel crust, slightly shiny from a wash, encasing an egg-y blonde interior. More than likely it’s both, and we Americans willingly pay a premium for brands’ French-style brioche buns, rolls, and sliced bread. 

It didn’t take long for major manufacturers and supermarket bakeries to hop on this trend, offering their own takes. Like so many yeasted doughs, one brand’s sliced brioche has risen (to the top): Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Thick Sliced Brioche Style.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

What’s So Great About Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Brioche Style Bread?

What I love about this style of brioche starts with the texture. The wide slices are even thicker, denser, and more pillowy than the best potato breads. It takes what feels like sharp teeth and determination to break into it, offering such a deep sense of satisfaction when its pliancy bows down to the primal supremacy of my mandible. Take that! I think as the squishiness inevitably gives to the pressure of my jaws. 

That thought’s quickly replaced by a joyful, Mmm! as the aroma rises up to my nose and flavor hits my tongue. As I chew, there’s a toastiness, from the malted barley in the crust, and a mild sweetness that reappears at the finish (thanks to the well-incorporated sugars, no doubt). The butter adds a richness and a stark contrast to the kind of greasy feel and sour aftertaste other breads made with oil can leave behind.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

Even better is its ability to hold its own. It does not collapse under the weight of hefty ingredients or hungry chompers. Every bite feels like the first one, staying thick and fat, retaining its volume even as I work my way through whatever sandwiches — both closed and open-faced — I make with it. 

This is, in part, because of the extra wheat gluten, a nontraditional addition that gives the dough stretch without all the kneading (it’s also what helps this bread avoid an otherwise common problem with sliced brioche bread: dryness). 

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

What’s the Best Way to Eat Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Brioche Style Bread?

Little beats a butter sandwich — especially with complex, high-quality butters. What’s better than French-style soft bread with high-end French butter like Rodolphe Le Meunier, or high-tang cultured butter like Vermont Creamery’s to counter the bread’s sweetness? The other right answer is extra-rich, 85% fat (vs. the 80% often found in American butters) Danish Creamery butter. Either way, butter sandwiches are my litmus, and these pass no matter the spread.

Then there are the breakfast dishes: French toast, toad in the hole, ham and egg sandwiches, and more. This dense bread stands up well in them all. I particularly love ham and egg whites with mayo and Aldi’s extra onion-y everything seasoning, so that the salty and savory notes accentuate the sweetness of the bread.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

For lunch, it’s a no-brainer for grilled cheese — especially when you add sweet elements, like caramelized onions or apple jam, that bring out the sweetness of the bread. They’re also fantastic for classic PBJs. Skippy’s Natural Super Chunk peanut butter and Crofter’s Harvest Berry provide a perfect textural contrast against the smoothness of the brioche bread. Sandwiched around a stack of turkey slices, a lesser bread would disintegrate into sogginess from enough tomatoes and mayo, but not this bread. The slices are thick and robust enough to stand in for burger or hot dog buns, which Nature’s Own also makes, but if you’re in a pinch this is a perfectly acceptable hack.

And finally, for dessert, it makes an excellent bread pudding. How could it not? The recipe requires a wee bit more custard than your standard breads, but the low porousness helps this brioche maintain its natural texture, which is, as advertised, “perfectly crafted.”

What sliced bread do you buy at the grocery store? Tell us about it in the comments below.